2016 has been the year that has seen social media platforms continue to evolve. From the Snapchat vs Instagram Stories saga to Facebook Live taking precedence on our newsfeeds, now Instagram has come back and debuted its latest feature – shoppable photos.
Currently being trialled in the US, the app’s latest feature allows users to shop products directly from an image. Continuing the transition towards becoming an ecommerce site, Instagram users can now click to buy products instantly from photos.
So how does it work?
Well, it’s actually pretty simple. Instagram will install a small, white icon in the bottom left-hand corner of shoppable photos, making the ‘Tap to View Products’ icon identifiable to customers.
Once a user clicks the icon, they will be presented with the brand and price of the item. From here, the customer can easily convert using the power of social media by clicking from the product and continuing the user journey to the product page.
Based on the average customer’s mindset - like it, want it, buy it - the feature provides retailers with the option to target new and returning customers using product imagery alone. Furthermore, it enables users to shop via a piece of content whilst brands deliver a customer-centric, yet easy, shopping experience.
It’s no secret that engagement is high on Instagram and while many users enjoy scrolling through their favourite accounts, the update won’t take anything away from the aesthetic we’re used to seeing on the feed. Because the button will only become visible once clicked, it eliminates the fear of shoppable photos becoming intrusive when users are catching up with the daily posts.
The update is in line with Instagram users scrolling habits too. According to a study run by the app, 60% of users say they learn about new brands and products whilst on the channel and 75% of Instagrammers take action by visiting a site and searching for a product that they’ve initially seen on the app.
Driving sales with Instagram
Whilst the app encourages users to browse and shop, it’s also important to encourage potential new customers to proceed down the funnel. The new feature eliminates the need for customers to open the retailer’s site in a secondary browser, providing a natural path to purchase. Whilst Instagram owners insist the feature isn’t a ‘Shop to Buy’ button, the enhancement encourages users to move on from browsing and discovery to potentially convert as either a new or returning customer.
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